With the Syracuse Orange set to tip off the Big East portion of their schedule Tuesday against Providence, I thought it would be fun to pour over some stats and see what pops out. We did this a few weeks ago and now seems like a good time to check in and see what numbers say. The stats are taken from ESPN and the historical info comes from the amazing Orange Hoops site. Off we go:
- Rick Jackson is still rebounding at a very high level, collecting 11.8 rebounds per game. I'd be shocked his he doesn't finish the season with a double digit rebounding average, since his minutes, currently at 33 per game, will likely go up as Big East play begins. SU has only had one guy in the last 19 years average 10 or more boards per game. That guy was Carmelo Anthony in 2003.
- Kris Joseph leads the team in scoring at 14.0 points per game. It that holds, it would be the lowest scoring average to lead the team since Etan Thomas averaged 13.6 ppg in 1999-2000. Given the balance this team has achieved on offense so far, it's not really a problem. Rick Jackson is right behind Joseph at 13.9 ppg and Scoop is at 13.3. That's some solid balance right there.
- Rick Jackson is the only guy averaging more than 30 minutes per game, although now that conference play is upon us, I'd be shocked if Scoop Jardine (29.4 mpg) and Kris Joseph (29.1) mpg, don't get those averages over 30 soon. They've got nothing on St. Bonaventure's Ogo Adegboye who is logging an absurd 41.1 minutes every contest.
- From a statistical standpoint, SU's best three point shooters, in order, are Mookie Jones (41.7%) Dion Waiters (36.4%) and James Southerland (33%). Of those three, the only one with guaranteed playing time going forward is Waiters, so while the offensive execution has been excellent recently, three point shooting is something that bears watching as SU enters Big East play.
- So far, Scoop and Kris have attempted the most three point shots on the team (58 and 42 respectively) and both are shooting exactly 31%. Make of that what you will.
- One more point on three point shooting, there's a great chance walk-on Matt Tomaszewski could finish the year a perfect 3 for 3 from beyond the stripe -- as he probably won't see much playing time going forward - unless he gets to jack a couple at the end of the DePaul game.
- The Orange are 8th in the country in assists to turnover ratio which demonstrates that this team values and shares the ball. That means even if they aren't shooting a great percentage, they have fewer empty possessions and more shot attempts.
- In tight end of game situations, the Orange are in good shape, as three guys that play major minutes and handle the ball - Dion Waiters, Kris Joseph, and Brandon Triche are all shoot better than 75% from the line.
There's an old saying that figures lie and liars figure - so while stats alone don't paint a full portrait of season, they do give you a good idea. So far we know Rick Jackson is good, the team is balanced, outside shooting is still a question mark and this team values the basketball. Bring on Big East play. And if you can't get enough stats, here's a chart that represents what each player has done so far this year.